Interview With The Vampire
Growing up in Minneapolis, my life was influenced by all things Prince. My first paid acting job was the role of Roller Skating Girl in a Carmen Electra music video; my first law suit, against the agent who booked the job for a set hourly rate, plus time and a half, only to appear at the end of the thirteen hour shoot, revised contract in hand, hell bent on paying a $99 flat fee for the day.
Minnesota was bloated with shysters and wannabes; bottom feeders feasting on the murky purple poo of an epic fish in our tiny pond. One enterprising frat boy known as Truck would fly famous teenage TV stars to Minneapolis and charge Los Angeles club prices for the 18-21 crowd to come party with them—a business model that never would have never held up in Sheboygan.
Truck had recruited one of my best friends, Run DMC — a guy with an enormous heart and a commanding presence —to bromance celebrities and serve as a bodyguard in their Minneapolis entourage.
I was freshman in film school at the time and just a tiny bit jealous that Run— an international law student— was spending time with people who actually worked in Hollywood. Lucky duck.
“Hook me up!” I pleaded.
“It’s not like that,” Run warned. “You’re a girl.”
Being half black, half Hispanic, he had spent his entire life as an outsider in a very Nordic Minnesota suburb. Despite being unfairly branded by the local mall cops as a gangsta and a criminal, Run was an incredibly popular academic leader. Not only did he wind up going to one of the most exclusive liberal arts colleges in the country, he eventually worked there as an academic recruiter, promoting multi-cultural diversity.
By the time we were in our twenties, Run was pretty famous in his own right. Everywhere we went, people knew him — most notably, The Purple One.
Nevertheless, Run had to work ten times harder just to prove himself; so when he said I didn’t belong, he knew exactly what he was talking about.
Dismissing his warning as unfair and sexist, I approached Truck directly. He said he couldn’t promise anything, but invited me to stop by a party he was throwing that night at a downtown hotel. What started out as a group of a few guys and thirty girls was quickly whittled down to me and a cute, benzoyl peroxide faced actor I’ll call Noxema Boy.
In high school I was voted “Girl Most Likely to Ask a Question,” a little piece of trivia Noxema Boy was about to discover firsthand. Although he had no interest in answering my interrogation about working in Hollywood, he was incredibly enthusiastic about kissing me… and bragging that he was a vampire.
“Whoa…whoa…whoa…whoa…wait.” I said, as he feasted on my neck. “A what?”
“A vampire.” He mumbled nonchalantly, his words muffled by my flesh.
There was no way I could let this little factoid slide: Did he really drink blood? What kind of blood? Human blood? Reptile blood? Did he keep it in his fridge? Perhaps a 98.6 degree temperature controlled blood cellar? No? Had anyone ever thought to invent one?
Hey! We could be sitting on a million dollar idea…
Realizing that he wanted to turn an innocent make out session into some serious bloodshed, I began to cry. Thank goodness he was a fetishist, not a rapist. Noxema Boy immediately stopped what he was doing and offered me cab fare home.
It’s such a stupid story in retrospect, but at the time I was devastated.
It hurt my feelings that someone would capitalize on an obscene amount of fame by flying 1300 miles for a $10,000 promotional fee and the promise of getting laid by a different girl every night. It was like Peter Parker getting bitten by a radioactive spider and using his superpowers exclusively for the sake of performing aerial sex acts.
At least, that’s what I said at the time. If I’d really been honest, I would have admitted that what hurt most was the realization that there was a Boys Club that I wanted to join but could never be part of. I hated that Run was granted automatic membership while I was hazed in the absolute grossest way.
For the next two weeks, I had bruises (not hickeys, bruises) on my neck as a parting gift from my little encounter with Noxema Boy.
The next time I saw Run, he took one look at me and shook his head but never said, “I told you so.” Instead he gave me a gigantic teddy bear hug, knowing I’d be working ten times harder just to prove myself in the film industry soon enough.
Originally published in Connect Savannah